Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) doesn’t trust reports on the current unemployment rate, and told a gathering of the Republican Jewish Coalition in Iowa that the rate has been “massaged, it’s been doctored.” Dave Weigel of Bloomberg, who was in attendance, posted the remarks on Twitter.
Perry says official unemployment rate is unreliable: “It’s been massaged, it’s been doctored.”
— daveweigel (@daveweigel) January 26, 2015
It’s not clear what Perry is basing this comment on. As Danny Vinik at The New Republic points out, the national unemployment rate fell from 8.3 percent to 7.8 percent in 2012 and then rose again and then fell again from 8 percent to 7.2 percent in 2013. It would be a bizarre move for the White House to raise the unemployment rate and then lower it again.
The current unemployment rate is 5.6 percent. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) suggested earlier in the month that the improving economy was thanks to the new Republican majorities in the Senate and the House of Representatives. That comment provoked snide chuckling from the Democratic National Committee.